Jefferson Lerma closing in on Bournemouth debut, says Eddie Howe
Last Updated: 17/08/18 11:00am
Eddie Howe says club-record signing Jefferson Lerma is making progress and is edging closer to making his Bournemouth debut.
Lerma joined Bournemouth on a five-year contract last week after the Cherries agreed a £25m deal with Levante for the Colombia international's services.
The 23-year-old midfielder missed the win over Cardiff on the opening day but could feature against West Ham on Saturday.
"He's coming along well, he's had a good week's training," said manager Eddie Howe.
"He had done very minimal training before he got here. Last week was very important [for him]. You can see that he has gotten better every day in terms of his endurance levels, so he's getting closer [to making his Bournemouth debut].
"At the moment he is quite quiet because I think there are a couple of issues there with the language, and of course getting to know your team-mates and that feeling of being totally confident and comfortable around the players, which takes a little bit of time.
"But I think you can see Jefferson's and Diego Rico's personalities really beginning to come out and they are really nice guys. They will add a lot to the squad in terms of the playing side, but also I think they will be good characters within the group.
"We'll wait and see (when he is ready to play). It's very difficult to say at the moment. We've got games coming up and so he will have plenty of opportunities to show how he is looking."
Saturday's clash with West Ham will see Howe reunited with Jack Wilshere who was a popular figure at Bournemouth during a season-long loan with the club for the 2016-17 campaign.
Howe will instruct his players to pay close attention to the England midfielder and he beieves Manuel Pellegrini's Hammers will provide a stern test for his Bournemouth side.
"We came up against Jack last year at Arsenal and it was really good to see him and good to see him fit," Howe added.
"He will obviously be keen to do well in his first home game for his new club. I think it's a good move for him, I think he will suit how West Ham play. It's up to us to try and stop him in this match because he could have a big bearing on this game if we allow him to.
"It's going to be a very tough game for us. They have a very experienced manager, a very good manager who has won the league. They have recruited some really good payers and they had a good squad already. It will be a good examination for us and a good marker for us for where we stand."
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